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The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
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The Lace Reader (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Brunonia Barry

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2,8892592,000 (3.54)502
Member:smallwonder56
Title:The Lace Reader
Authors:Brunonia Barry
Info:Flap Jacket Press (2007), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Lace Reader: A Novel by Brunonia Barry (2006)

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» See also 502 mentions

English (254)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All (261)
Showing 1-5 of 254 (next | show all)
I was surprised to see such negative reviews of this book online, as I found The Lace Reader to be a darkly complex story with a compelling protagonist. The primary complaint is the unreliability of the narrator and the occasionally bewildering timeline, despite her stating on page one that she is crazy and a liar, setting the tone for the remainder of the novel. Following the mysterious disappearance of her great aunt, estranged Towner returns to her childhood home of Salem, Massachusetts. A bit of a town legend following her mental break and subsequent departure nearly fifteen years prior, Towner's return strikes a chord with many residents as she attempts to communicate with her reclusive mother and reassemble the scattered pieces of her life. A richly atmospheric novel in its impeccable rendering of modern and historic Salem and its cultural ironies. Barry's novel is a fine read, powerful in its discussion of abuse and its psychological impact, magical in its take on modern witchcraft, and the only blemishes being a few clumsy shifts in perspective and a rather abrupt ending. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
I loved the beginning of the book, up through the middle and the parts regarding lace reading but there is such a twist to the ending it's making me question everything I read.

Going to have to read this again to see how many stars I give the book - so for now I'll stay with 3. ( )
  mmoj | Mar 2, 2017 |
So many twists, I loved the journey. The characters are all a little different and I think that makes them more likeable. I love all the history around the Salem witch trials. This story also addresses some serious social issues. An all around enjoyable read. ( )
  mnm123 | Feb 18, 2017 |
I wanted to like this book more than I did. Because of the nature of the story line I can't say much about it without spoilers. But I can say I thought the book got off to a slow start and I guessed the ending about 3/4 of the way through it. An ending which seems to have been done before and is getting tiresome. The side story of the fundamentalists vs the "witches" added nothing to the story line IMHO and I thought they came off as silly caricatures.

There were a lot of 'words' but little character development. I wanted to know more about Rafferty, as well as May and Emma. Many story lines and plot points were left hanging.

Still, I would recommend it, it's just not the fabulous book I had hoped for. I'm glad I borrowed it from the library. If I could give 2 1/2 stars I would. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Interesting and original. Really enjoyed it. ( )
  MicheleMG | Feb 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 254 (next | show all)
For 15 år siden, da Towner Whitneys liv ble lagt i grus, sverget hun på to ting: At hun aldri skulle sette sine ben i hjembyen Salem igjen. Og at hun aldri mer ville lese i kniplinger. For Towner har arvet denne sjette sansen, den mange av Whitney-klanens kvinner er utstyrt med, den som gjør dem i stand til å spå andres skjebne.
Det er bare ett eneste menneske som kan få Towner tilbake til Salem: Grandtante Eva - den beste kniplingleseren av dem alle. Nå er den gamle kvinnen sporløst borte. Kan Towner finne sannheten om familiens dypt bevarte hemmeligheter i Evas forlatte hus?

"Kniplingenes hemmelighet" foregår i fargerike Salem, byen som er berømt for fortidens utallige heksebål. Historien om Towner favner vidt og er spenningsroman, slektskrønike, historisk skildring og magisk fortelling - men først og fremst er det en sterk og varm beretning som fanger leseren fra Towners første, skjebnesvangre ord: Mitt navn er Towner Whitney. Nei, det er ikke helt sant. I virkeligheten er fornavnet mitt Sophya. Tro aldri på det jeg sier. Jeg lyver i ett sett. Jeg er en gal kvinne - dette siste er san
added by KirstenLund | edithttp://www.aschehoug.no (Feb 26, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brunonia Barryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bresnahan, AlyssaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandberg, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The Lace Reader must stare at the piece of lace until the pattern blurs and the face of the Seeker disappears completely behind the veil. When the eyes begin to fill with tears and the patience is long exhausted, there will appear a glimpse of something not quite seen. In this moment an image will begin to form . . . in the space between what is real and what is only imagined. --The Lace Reader's Guide
Dedication
To my wonderful husband, Gary, and to my sister-in-law Joanne's magical red hair
First words
My name is Towner Whitney. No, that's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time.
Quotations
He was worse than a Starbucks snob, but he didn't tell her that. He didn't even drink Starbucks coffee. Used to. Then, last year, his daughter had saved up her allowance and bought him a French press for Christmas, and now he couldn't drink his coffee any other way.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Towner Whitney, descended from a line of mind readers and fortune tellers, returns to Salem, Massachusetts to recover from several traumas and discovers that her great-aunt Eva has suspiciously drowned, and local cop John Rafferty looks into the mystery while falling for Towner.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061624764, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, August 2008: Brunonia Barry dreamt she saw a prophecy in a piece of lace, a vision so potent she spun it into a novel. The Lace Reader retains the strange magic of a vivid dream, though Barry's portrayal of modern-day Salem, Massachusetts--with its fascinating cast of eccentrics--is reportedly spot-on. Some of its stranger residents include generations of Whitney women, with a gift for seeing the future in the lace they make. Towner Whitney, back to Salem from self-imposed exile on the West Coast, has plans for recuperation that evaporate with her great-aunt Eva's mysterious drowning. Fighting fear from a traumatic adolescence she can barely remember, Towner digs in for answers. But questions compound with the disappearance of a young woman under the thrall of a local fire-and-brimstone preacher, whose history of violence against Whitney women makes the situation personal for Towner. Her role in cop John Rafferty's investigation sparks a tentative romance. And as they scramble to avert disaster, the past that had slipped through the gaps in Towner's memory explodes into the present with a violence that capsizes her concept of truth. Readers will look back at the story in a new light, picking out the clues in this complex, lovely piece of work. --Mari Malcolm

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:13 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A young woman descended from a long line of mind readers and fortune tellers has returned to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, for rest and relaxation. Any tranquility in her life is short-lived, however, when her aunt drowns under mysterious circumstances.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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